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Friday, April 28th
9:20 AM

Wild Places and A Thing Called Gender. Does This Social Construction Inform How We Work and Play Outside? A Qualitative Narrative of Working in the White Mountain National Forest

Eliza I D Hazen, Univeristy of Montana

UC 330

9:20 AM - 9:40 AM

The purpose of this paper is to explore a connection between gender and wilderness in a very specific lens: the Appalachian Mountain Club trail crew and hut crew employees in the White Mountain National Forest. Nine female employees of the Appalachian Mountain Club working for the High Mountain Huts as well as the Professional Trail Crew were interviewed. Three male employees were also interviewed to provide alternative prospective and context. Through these in-person and remote qualitative interviews, I gained insight into the gender-based challenges for women working in wilderness. The interviews I conducted revealed common themes related to gender, including the role of micro-aggressions in their experiences; the process of confronting stereotypes about women’s strength; and development of skill sets to cope and excel in a wilderness setting. It was important to me to investigate a connection specifically of wild places and working and recreating, because this setting has been vital to my character but also because these wild spaces will be threated by climate change in future generations so therefore documentation seems fundamentally important.

Keywords: Gender, wilderness, empowerment, backcountry employment, generational change

9:40 AM

The Earthship and A Livable Future

Katelyn J. Hopkins, University of Montana

UC 330

9:40 AM - 10:00 AM

10:00 AM

Editing: The Value of Quality Content in an Online-First Industry

Megan Giddings, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

10:00 AM - 10:20 AM

As the journalism industry shifts away from the traditional print newspaper model and toward a faster-paced, online standard, the commitment to editing content is steadily diminishing. This research project aims to examine the current state of editing within this industry and to determine whether this reduced emphasis on revision and correction is detrimental to news organizations and similar journalistic publications. Through an investigative assessment of recent studies, relevant publications and materials, and interviews with industry professionals, I attempt to define the editorial profession and what it means to be a “good editor.” I also observe employment trends and assess alternative options, such as outsourcing and editing software, and I explore existing frameworks for the cultivation of editors within organizations and how this development could be improved. Most importantly, I examine factors influencing credibility and reader perceptions of quality. Inquiries into these dynamics suggest that readers place greater value on edited content, and accordingly, are more willing to pay for that content. In an era in which media organizations are struggling to find an effective way to generate revenue after the demise of print advertising, this judgement and willingness to pay for value should be noted as a crucial consideration when updating publication structures and standards.

10:20 AM

Meat for Missoula: Educating Our Youth on Sustainable Meat Production Practices

Amelia Liberatore

UC 330

10:20 AM - 10:40 AM

In autumn 2016, a controversy arose when a student group, Advocates for Animals, took up a campaign against three meat pigs at the PEAS Farm due to strong views about animal consumption. Pigs serve as a central piece of food source education to hundreds of Missoula children who visit the farm every year. Unfortunately, the controversy overshadowed the educational purpose of exposing children to sustainable meat production practices. Moreover, access to the PEAS Farm and good food education is not available to all local children. I wondered whether education was accessible elsewhere. Unfortunately, child-appropriate, culturally relevant food literature is scarce. In my research, I read and critiqued dozens of children’s books on food and farming. However, much of the literature is outdated, inaccurate, or dull. In response, I have written and illustrated a children’s book that provides accurate and relevant information with engaging illustrations. This book could reach an audience that cannot visit the PEAS Farm or access other sustainable food education resources. Offering this kind of information to children allows for important discussion of where food comes from and what kind of food we want in our community.

10:40 AM

Economic Impacts of Climate Change Mitigation in the State of Montana

Paul H. Edlund

UC 330

10:40 AM - 11:00 AM

In 2017, several sources of the state of Montana’s economy are susceptible to climate change impacts; those industries include tourism, agriculture, wildlife management, and outdoor recreation. In recent years, political figures, national governments, and grassroots organizations have called for extreme methods of climate change mitigation for the entire global community. In response, communities, countries, and individuals have responded and changed their habits and policies to begin mitigating climate change.

During this research, I analyzed peer reviewed articles, government documents, and interviews from Montana economy experts. From those results, I was able to discern the approximate amount of money associated with the Montana industries that are at risk from climate change. This dollar amount was compared to the estimated profit from industries associated with fossil fuels, or those industries that would succeed if no climate change mitigation was addressed.

In addition, my research included using climate model research to establish how the global impact of greenhouse gases would impact at-risk Montana industries. After synthesizing the results from the climate models with the comparative dollar amounts of Montana industries, this research concludes Montana mitigation would negatively impact the Montana economy.

By means of secondary research and a synthesizing of the conclusions of credible economists, local energy experts, technology scientists, and climate scientists, this paper hypothesizes that extreme climate change mitigation methods in Montana would have no direct impact impact on the quality of Montana’s environment, and would actually decrease the total economic profit of the state of Montana and its collective inhabitants.

1:40 PM

Bridging the Gap Between the Scientific Community and the Public

Hannah Fay

UC 330

1:40 PM - 2:00 PM

There is an increasing dichotomy between the scientific community and the public caused by the inability of scientists to communicate well with the public and the public’s inability to discern accurate, peer-reviewed science from ‘pop science’, click-bait, and ‘alternative facts’. This allows for the creation of harmful policies based on opinion rather than empirical fact, the misunderstanding of healthcare, and distrust of science- all of which are detrimental to individuals and society.

I am approaching this problem on two different fronts. My startup company, Tran·sci·lator, aims to decrease this polarity by being a free-access online science communication platform with a fact-checking component and a simple education model that explains trending science in a clear, concise manner that doesn’t require a PhD to understand. The focus of the site is effective communication through curation of existing content and we hope to reach a wide range of people across the country and the world. My more intimate project is the brand-new non-profit, the Missoula Interdisciplinary Science League (MISL). MISL is working to promote the use and celebration of science and critical thinking in the Missoula community and encourage active engagement and interest in local science. Our community events are geared towards non-scientists and scientists alike and we aim to work with all disciplines of science, including the social sciences, and other science-oriented organizations in town to narrow the gap within our own community.

2:00 PM

Just Warfare, or Genocide?: Oliver Cromwell and the Siege of Drogheda

Lukas Dregne

UC 330

2:00 PM - 2:20 PM

Oliver Cromwell has always been a subject of fierce debate since his death on September 3, 1658. The most notorious stain blotting his reputation occurred during the conquest of Ireland by forces of the English Parliament under his command. This essay will concentrate on Cromwell and his New Model Army’s siege at Drogheda, the most brutal of all the military confrontations which transpired during the settlement. From the time Cromwell’s body was exhumed and mutilated in 1661, up unto the present day, the way in which he is remembered has changed significantly. While some position Cromwell as just one of many key actors in a wider drama, others assert that his savagery cannot be excused as just merely reflecting the bloody and unprincipled nature of war in that country. The siege of Drogheda provides a glimpse into the severity of that savagery. Cromwell undoubtedly killed thousands, and adversely impacted countless more, but it is not clear if his actions which occurred amid a time of war departed from or exceeded the accepted laws, practices, and norms of the day. Drogheda’s siege, which began in August 1649, was Cromwell’s first major, and most infamous, action in Ireland. He was by this time the new lord lieutenant of Ireland and arrived between August 15-23, in a fleet of over 130 ships, bringing with him a large artillery train, a full treasury, and well- disciplined regiments. The invasion was a long-delayed response to the Irish revolt which occurred in Ulster in 1641, though the defenders and victims of Drogheda were not the Irish responsible for the attacks on English and Scottish settlers years earlier. It is the siege which remains with Oliver Cromwell to this day.

2:40 PM

Defining an Agency: Animals, Fire, and the U.S. Forest Service

Ellen A. Ipsen, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

2:40 PM - 3:00 PM

Today, the United States Forest Service has established itself as an enduring authority on federal lands management. However, in 1905 when the federal government established the agency, its fate was far from secure. Prior to 1905, people living in the West had unchecked access to public land resources and many disapproved of an expansion of federal power. It was the issue of forest fire fighting that gained public support for the agency, and animals, in large part, helped them succeed. Horses and mules were used for transportation, scouting missions and trail building before adequate technology existed. Every ranger was required to own a horse and these animals provided uniformity and respectability to the rangers who were at times disrespected. Additionally, rangers sent carrier pigeons to quickly communicate the location of fires. These animals helped fight forest fires when success for the agency was crucial. As technology gradually proved these domesticated animals obsolete, animals were used in a new method. The Forest Service used the public’s love of animals to gain lasting support for their agency and engage the public in preventing fires themselves, as evidenced by the use of Bambi and Smokey Bear. Throughout the first fifty years of the USFS, the role of animals shifted from an active fighting role to a prevention and educational strategy for the public. Using various American newspapers, periodicals and government documents, I demonstrate that animals played a key role in the USFS’ efficiency, visibility, professionalization, and public engagement and increased respect for the agency in order to create a lasting reputable agency that we still have today.

4:00 PM

Lügenpresse: Media skepticism in contemporary Germany

Ian Strahn

UC 330

4:00 PM - 4:20 PM

In what is sometimes referred to as the post-truth era, the performance of the news media in conveying accurate information is under increased scrutiny. Media skepticism is on the rise in many democratic countries, and in German-speaking regions, this phenomenon coalesces around the term Lügenpresse, meaning lying press. Coined more than a century ago, the term today is closely tied to the Syrian refugee crisis and a surge of right-wing populism. Through research based on a series of in-depth interviews conducted in Berlin, as well as a review of news articles and media criticism literature, I will examine how the term Lügenpresse, has been used in the past, and why its resurgence is significant in Germany today. A hermeneutic analysis of historical and contemporary sources will serve as a means to understand the attitudes that contribute to media skepticism.

I will also evaluate the German news media’s response to the criticism leveled at them by significant parts of the population. Ultimately, I hope to provide a more thorough understanding of the attitudes underpinning this dangerous trend and to provide potential solutions to alleviate media skepticism in Germany and abroad.

4:20 PM

Badass Beauties: The Culture of Rebellious Femininity

Natalia L. Boise, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 330

4:20 PM - 4:40 PM

This project is an explorative multi-media essay aimed at capturing diverse individual expressions of femininity. It was conceptualized out of frustration and also admiration. I saw many beautiful women I admire struggle with beauty norms and standards and the constraints of the modern conceptualization of femininity. Some of the universals of womanhood--menstruation, public hair, aging-- have come to be seen as entirely unfeminine, and many of the women around me were beginning to challenge that. These women’s experiences, my own education, our discussions, and my personal struggles as a woman trying to establish my own identity in a world that often marginalizes women’s voices, identities, and abilities inspired me to explore diverse conceptualizations of femininity. I wanted to let women’s identities to be seen and heard. I worked to capture these insecurities, confidences, struggles, and personal experiences with femininity through amateur photography, combined with their words, artwork, and poetry, to reimagine the feminine. By creating a space for these identities to be celebrated, we challenge traditional notions of femininity and the stigmas around female sexuality, natural beauty, and individual and non-traditional expressions of femininity to be more inclusive of diverse, unique feminine identities.

The project has developed through its own creative process as I have worked with these women. It has evolved as an expression of these women’s personal experiences with their femininity independent of my artistic vision. It has become a way for women to explore their femininities for themselves, to empower them in their insecurities, and to celebrate their unique identities as women. Their stories are worth sharing, and this project is their platform.

More information on the project can be found at my website,

4:40 PM

Projections of a Better World: A Critical Reading of Elfquest's Original Quest

William C. Riley, University of Montana

UC 330

4:40 PM - 5:00 PM

Beginning on the pages of Fantasy Quarterly in 1978, Elfquest, “is the longest-running, independent fantasy series, with more than 15 million comics, graphic novels, and other publications in print.”[1] Beyond its long history, it also has the distinction of being the first fantasy comic created, written, and illustrated by a woman, an impressive feat considering the androcentric nature of both the comic book industry and its readership.

There is little in the way of critical scholarship on this series, despite its nearly four-decade history. This paper fills this glaring absence of academic treatment by investigating the many layers of queer metafictional content. In this specific sense, Elfquest’s queerness develops from its creation, its treatment of the fantasy genre, and through the fictitious cult and lives of the titular elves. As an artifact, both as a collection of art and text, marks it as a production of a specific cultural time. As such, each of these queerings query the existing hegemonies through metafictional commentary. The aim of this paper, then, is to explore this commentary through a close reading of the text and visuals of the first story arc: “The Original Quest.”